The economic impact of the recent crisis is evident and manufacturers around the globe have suffered from it. From global supply chain disruptions, to human tragedies and production shutdowns - the crisis has strained revenues, profits and resources of manufacturing businesses large and small.
With more and more countries moving into recovery mode, economies are ramping up and according to consumer sentiment surveys demand is picking up. Businesses that are now adapting from firefighting to strategizing, have the highest chances of not only surviving but capturing future growth opportunities.
What are the top 3 priorities for Manufacturers to guarantee a fast recovery from the Covid-19 crisis?
1. Closing digital gaps
Covid-19 has speed-rocketed the digitalization in many companies: an infrastructure that can enable work from anywhere, at any time has become the new standard to guarantee operational success in digital processes. Besides the boom of collaboration platforms, IT projects such as unifying and streamlining processes and and de-siloing systems have made it to the top of priority lists. Manufacturers simply cannot afford to sustain systems where the production back-end is not fully connected to the sales and customer front-end. Specialized sales solutions, such as Configure Price Quote need be integrated end-to-end to eradicate inaccuracies in sales, order and production that could further skim desperately needed revenues.
2. Re-discovering customer centricity
After the initial demand-shock, companies have re-discovered the power of customer relationships. Committing to understand and fulfill customer requirements a hundred percent has proven to be a winning strategy not just when demands pick up.
Manufacturers that have the ability to produce customized CTO or ETO quotes at speed and deliver comprehensive products and solutions reliably, can record up to 15% increase in revenue. Intensified customer contact in connection with reduced operating costs have always been the drivers for winning customer relationships and profitability. But in times of crisis customer excellence initiatives supported by solutions such as an industry-tailored CPQ have once more proven their point.
Aftersales and service businesses became more important than ever to satisfy customer demands beyond new purchases. Digital gaps in these areas are being closed with Commerce solutions such as Sales or Distributor Portals to cater to high-margin and steady revenue streams.
3. Boosting business agility and innovation
Covid-19 has created a challenging climate for manufacturers on numerous fronts. As companies were looking for immediate measures to keep their workforce safe and their businesses solvent, for some players new opportunities arose. Distilleries started producing disinfectants, car manufacturers switched their production to medical ventilators or pushed innovation to develop a new filter for car interiors.
What do these companies have in common? They have identified demand changes early and were able to adapt their production and sales processes flexibly. With a digitalized development-to-production chain these businesses were able to change their business models on the spot. They do not only benefit from the revenues of their immediate innovations but have built long-term agility to withstand any future crisis to come.